Blog Post

Where to Find Sports Video Online

This post was written by NewTeeVee intern Chris Holt.

If you’re tired of waiting for ESPN.com and CBS’s SportsLine to condense your favorite sporting events into 20-second clips, there is hope. Over the last year many major (and niche) sports associations have revolutionized how their fans view their product by adding streaming video options, more accessibility to viewable clips, and new video-based projects.

The major market sports vary in terms of how much content is available online. If you’re a baseball fan, for example, MLB.com is still probably your best source for streaming videos and highlights. But you can also purchase the game of the week on iTunes. If that’s not enough for you, there’s hope: Fox Sports recently tapped Tricaster for MLB and NFL webcasts, which will allow multi-camera broadcasts for live streams. Essentially, the network is building the infrastructure to ensure more than just one game a week is streaming live.

The NBA has taken a different approach on highlight clips and streaming video of basketball games. NBA.com has a nice feature called a clip mixer that allows users to create their own highlight reels. Yet, despite a test run of a streaming system last year, there doesn’t seem to much push to create streaming video for games. However, the launch of the National Basketball Development League may change that because many are calling it the first true internet league.

If you’re a football fan, currently your options are even more limited. The NFL has some strange rules regarding video use. Among the rules is that sites are allowed to show only 45 seconds per day of press conferences or 45 seconds of game coverage for sites that cover multiple clubs. So there are not many great resources for highlights online, currently. Even worse, there are no streaming games online, but Yahoo broadcasts everything else — audio, scores, etc.

NBC recently just unveiled its answer to Yahoo in SundayNightIsFootballNight.com, a website with commentary, wallpapers, and other goodies, but still no suggestion of streaming video. The good news is that the 2007 draft was streamed in part on SI.com through its FilmRoom project and employed the metadata search capabilities of Gotuit. Whether or not the NFL will broadcast similar events in the future with Gotuit or another company remains to be seen. Finally, for those who have TV on their computer, the NFL has a dedicated cable channel.

Perhaps due to its abysmal television ratings last year, the NHL is the most experimental of the major market sports associations and is quite generous with the use of its hockey clips. TheNewsRoom.com, with help from Voxant, will distribute free clips and will subsequently generate revenue for sites that post the content. Similarly, Sling Media struck a deal with the NHL in June which will allow sharing through a “Clip + sling” format of live or recorded games. Anyone can view the clips even if only Slingbox users can clip and swing. This is probably the closest people will get to live streaming videos for major market games, other than P2P resources (more on P2P later).

College sports, on the other hand, are much more decentralized due to the nature of differing playing levels, conferences, and popularity of the respective sports. If you’re a big fan of the college recruitment process and like following your college’s success at recruiting blue-chip athletes, then Scout.com and Rivals.com are probably your best bets for viewing video clips. However, membership is usually required and can include a steep fee. College Sports TV or CSTV.com contains highlights and some live games but obviously caters to certain major market sports.

There are other options out there, however. CBS made headway last year by streaming video for NCAA Basketball’s March Madness and CollegeSportsDirect.com also has “live and on-demand” games. Again, the site panders to bigger market sports but to its credit does have some more obscure events as well. Finally, there are lots of highlight video clip collections out there. Aside from YouTube and ESPN.com, AOL has a decent collection of especially college basketball videos.

If you’re not a fan of American major market sports or college sports, there are still plenty of options online to follow your favorite sport and team. For streaming videos of soccer check out Free-Football.tv which claims to be the oldest and best resource for watching live soccer matches. A number of competitors have since come on the net scene, including SkySports.com, which has highlight and interview clips of soccer, rugby and cricket.

Perhaps the biggest competition is Virgin Media which recently secured the exclusive broadband rights to broadcast live streaming premier league matches and non-exclusive rights to broadcast Coca-Cola league games. For now, check out the free highlights: virginmedia.com/sport

If you’re into rugby and don’t find clips and interviews enough, then ITV.com announced it will simulcast all 48 matches of the Rugby World Cup as well as tacking on highlight clips. If you are into cycling and can’t get enough of the Tour De France, then venture here: velonews.com/vntv.

LiveSportsVideo.com boasts live webcasts of wrestling, judo, and lacrosse matches, but right now is selective in what it covers. The site boasts big goals, but for now it has some nice archived videos and highlights. If you’re a fan of golf, then you are already likely aware of Sportsline.com‘s coverage of the Masters tournament. Insidegolf.com boasts highlights and interview clips, but so far SportsLine remains your best bet for PGA, LPGA, and amateur golf video.

If you’re a fan of extreme sports, then there is a variety of options. For X Games fans, a joint venture of ESPN, Venture and MediaFLO will create a temporary mobile channel to broadcast the X Games live. Though temporary, the technology the channel employs could become a permanent fixture of future live sports broadcasts. For highlight clips of extreme sports, Extreme.com/video has a good cache. For general sports highlights, FanIQ.com has videos, sports news, and links to blogs.

Finally, in regards to P2P sharing, Myp2p and PPLive are services that allow users to broadcast and share their various sports video streams. You may need to download Sopcast to get particular streams, however. These sites boast live and free sports video that may not be completely legal.

While I’ve discussed a variety of options here, this is an incomplete and ever-changing list. If anyone has any other resources or news items to suggest, please feel free to do so in the comments and we’ll update the post.

17 Responses to “Where to Find Sports Video Online”

  1. yoursports.com is broadcasting major amateur sports games live and on demand. 1000’s of games are queued up and we’ll be doing some serious live streaming this fall. Stay tuned!

    Chris McCoy, CEO
    yoursports.com

  2. Hi, we’ve just launched our new website http://www.TryTime.TV, which is an online rugby video archive (rugby union and rugby league), categorised by team, player, competition and year. We already have a large number of videos featuring great tries, big hits, match highlights and video features, with more being added on a daily basis.

  3. MediaZone is a great place to find both live and on demand events. Through exclusive partnerships with NBC Sports and IndyCar as well as established channels with recurring programming like MediaZone Rugby (Rugby World Cup), MediaZone Tennis, MediaZone Moto, MediaZone Racing, we’re offering fans throughout the world the chance to watch their favorite events whenever and wherever they choose. We also secured rights for individual big-ticket events such as Wimbledon LIVE, FIBA Basketball World Championships, Mavericks Surf Contest and the NYC Marathon. http://www.mediazone.com/channel/new_homepage/main.jsp

  4. This site is excellent and shows all the more famous rugby clips as well as a load of ones i just had never seen, all good stuff though! I recommend a look for anyone who is looking for an easy to use library of all clip types.

  5. We’ve been helping users find “live” events shown online (primarily sporting events) for a few years now. You can find upcoming events (that are shown live online) via our homepage, events calendar, or Internet TV program listings.

    Other live events we usually follow are concerts shown online.

    http://www.findinternettv.com/

    We’re currently working on widgets that will help provide users with the latest events shown online.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

  6. Nice write up.

    Few things to consider, NFL.com will be launching a new site soon. Video will certainly be beefed up now the NFL has taken control from CBS Sportsline. NFL Network is producing amazing stuff and I can see much of that video being integrated with the new site. You won’t see live video of NFL games in the U.S. for a few years. Due to the DirectTV Sunday Ticket deal that pays the NFL 3.5 billion through the 2010 season keeps video streaming of games off the Internet. U.S. citizens only have online audio options with “NFL.com Field Pass” powered by Real Networks but available in Real and Windows Media. However, International users can watch video of NFL games on “NFL.com Game Pass” which is powered by Yahoo!.

    One more thing, SundayNightIsFootballNight.com, is two years old. The site was around last season but recently updated with the 2007 Sunday night game information.

  7. Another emerging reasource of Archived sport is Joost and they are working on getting live events ,

    Currently Joost has NHL (Ice Hockey) ,Boxing ,Soccer and Rugby and the usual array of extreme sports you would expect from a service like Joost.

  8. I still think that MyP2P provides the best one stop shop for sport and especially when sports events are blacked out or have geographical restrictions placed on them this is the place to go .

    The sports organisations could easily monetise viewers who want to watch streams not in their geographical footprint and it probably could be supported by Geo-targeted advertising and provide a revenue stream they are currently missing out on .

    The technology is there to lower the costs of content distribution and provide geo targeted ads so its comes down to a business decision instead of sending C&Ds and trying to sue customers for redistributing the streams via p2p use that base to redistribute your streams and advertise to them .

  9. I wanted to add information about our service for finding live sport coverage online http://www.sportingo.com/whatsonline/1,21. What’s Online lets you find information about thousands of sports events around the world with links to were you can view them live, find highlights, archives or interviews. The service is still in beta (full launch is planned for November)

    Ze’ev Rozov
    CEO
    Sportingo